Defense engineering is responsible for protecting the troops either by using fortifications or by designing new technology and weaponry.
Defense engineers construct and repair bases, airfields, roads, bridges, and hospitals as well as clearing routes, harbors and ports. Another way of looking at it, defense engineering is pretty much any engineering activity undertaken, regardless of component or service, where the intent/goal/plan is to shape the physical operating environment in support of maneuvers of the force as a whole.
The heritage of defense engineering reaches back to the earliest beginnings of organized armies – on the battlefields of ancient Mesopotamia, India, Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome, skilled defense engineers laid the groundwork for the role of their modern descendants.
The Ancient Romans are considered to perhaps be the first civilization to have a dedicated force of defense engineering specialists. Consequently, defense engineering is the oldest of the engineering skills and was the precursor of the profession of civil engineering.
The prevalence of defense engineering in the United States dates back to the American Revolutionary War when engineers would carry out tasks in the U.S. Army. During the war, they would map terrain to and build fortifications to protect troops from opposing forces.
The first military engineering organization in the United States was the Army Corps of Engineers. Engineers were responsible for protecting military troops whether using fortifications or designing new technology and weaponry throughout the United States’ history of warfare.
The Army originally claimed engineers exclusively, but as the U.S. military branches expanded to the sea and sky, the need for defense engineering sects in all branches increased. As each branch of the United States military expanded, technology adapted to fit their respective needs.
Today, the focus of most defense engineers falls into three realms:
- Combat engineering – engineering on the battlefield.
- Strategic support – providing service in communication zones such as the construction of airfields and the improvement and upgrade of ports, roads and railways communication.
- Ancillary support – provision and distribution of maps as well as the disposal of unexploded warheads.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Defense Engineering Training Bootcamp, a 5-day course that provides practicing defense engineers, product managers and other personnel, with leading edge specialized knowledge in defense technologies, systems and standards for advancement in career and productivity.